Today, six early-stage companies claimed prizes at LIT’s 2015 Enterprise Start-Up Awards. Receiving significant validation from the business community, regional stakeholders and LIT.
The awards were Best Pitch which was received by Conundrum- an acoustic drum product which is due to be manufactured locally and distributed internationally. The Limerick Start-Up prize went to Glynn Diamonds, which focuses on synthetic diamond manufacturing and R&D activity. Best Start-Up Tipperary was awarded to The Pudding a digital marketing company with a graphic design edge and the overall award of 2015 LIT Enterprise Start-Up went to - The Delivery Guys, which provides delivery services to restaurants/food distributors across the region.
The winners were chosen from a short-list of eleven companies out of the initial entry of 40, with each pitching on the day to a panel of judges made up of Limerick Chamber, Enterprise Ireland, Holmes O’Malley Sexton and AIB.
Notably, these start-ups are now in a position to draw down on a variety of prizes including preapproval of €25,000 seed funding from LIT’s Enterprise Ladder Fund (ELF), and Ryan Entrepreneur Fund, respectively, cash prizes and consultancy services from sponsors Bridgewater Management, AIB, Limerick Chamber, Holmes O’Malley Sexton and The Discovery Partnership Ltd.
The well-attended event was a true celebration of the Enterprise and Research Development Activity which is taking place at the institute. The session featured a live pitch competition, business exhibition and also served as a graduation ceremony for participants on LIT’s start-up programmes across its regional sites -The National Franchise Centre, Hartnett Enterprise Acceleration Centre, Croom Community Enterprise Centre and Thurles Chamber Enterprise Centre. Gina London an Emy Award-winning news anchor with CNN was also on hand at the event to give her expert advice on business communications. An engaging speaker she promoted the theme of “grabbing the opportunity with both hands” and celebrated the success of those start-ups in attendance.
Congratulating the winners and all shortlisted for the awards, LIT President Dr Maria Hinfelaar said, “Entrepreneurship is key to the long-term recovery and sustainability of the Irish economy. We have an incredible spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship coming through in our six enterprise centres and our focus is on capturing and nurturing this so that the companies get every possible support to fulfil the enormous potential we see in them.
“The Enterprise Ladder Business Awards is another element of the overall support we put in place. They recognise, profile and reward the cutting-edge start-up companies that are on our programmes. They also make available critical funding for the winning companies at a key stage as well as a range of supports and services delivered by our partners.
Since its inception in 2007, LIT’s Enterprise Ladder has helped create over 150 businesses generating more than €10m in investment and creating more than 600 jobs.
Through its range of enterprise support and development programmes offered across its network of enterprise centres, the Enterprise Ladder fosters enterprise development and job creation in indigenous start-up enterprises, franchisees and franchisors and High-Potential Start-Up client companies with export potential in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland.
LIT will have seven Enterprise Centres by 2016, spread across county Limerick and Tipperary and has developed strong relationships with collaborators and partners such as Enterprise Ireland, The Chambers Of Commerce, UL The Local Enterprise Offices and the City and County Councils in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary and with groups like the ITLG, IBEC and many more.
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